Thursday, November 24, 2011

Higher Childhood IQ Linked With Higher Risk of Drug Use

Rahul always used to remind me that addiction was nature's way of harm reduction by blunting the intellect of the super-intelligent. He believed that this was how evolution kept things from getting too good for one's own good. Given that fact that I saw much of my life story as a chronicle of stupidity, I could not agree with him. However, recent findings do seem to prove his point, and add another page of erroneous views to my autobiography.

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has published a new study that studied more than 8,000 people over 30 years and found that young children were more likely to experiment with weed, speed, smack and coke later in life than the ones with lower IQ. This correlation was stronger in women than in men.

This also explains in some why addiction issues tend to persist among successful people and creative artists and performers in the face of absent attendant consequences.

Read more about it at the Hip Chick's Guide to stuff.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Clinician's Illusion: A Prescription for Relapse

Addiction is a disease of relapse, and it is our way or the highway, and the highway here is jails, institutions or death. This is one of the most commonly heard declarations in the field of addiction treatment. If you look up substance dependence recovery rates with and without treatment, you will come across a very interesting fact. 75% of people who have overcome addiction or alcoholism have done it without resorting to medical treatment (for addiction) or attending self help anonymous groups. It is a known fact that the client population in treatment centers is largely a revolving one, thereby strengthening the belief that addiction is a disease of relapse. I have always worried about the fact that a group of people who self-declare themselves to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually unwell can pronounce that the only alternative to “their way” is jails, institutions or death for the addict. Let us look a little closer at this belief that addiction is a disease of relapse, where it comes from, and what it does to the addict seeking recovery from proponents of this belief.
There are two reasons, in my opinion, that this belief flourishes. The first is the fact that those in the helping profession find meaning in their lives from being needed by those in search of help. Transference and counter-transference in the psychotherapeutic process are ideas that have been beaten to death, but what a lot of people do not pay attention to is the fact that a large number of people in the helping profession are people who are “recovering” from their own devils, and more often than not, the “helping” is a component of their recovery program, as it is in most self help anonymous groups. In addition, there is a catch-22 situation in this belief. If addicts were to not relapse, then the addiction equals relapse model would not hold true, and that would bring into question the entire belief system about addiction being a manifestation of a spiritual bankruptcy, reinforced by an obsessive-compulsive acting out. Therefore, unconsciously, every recovering person in the helping, while “praying” for the wellbeing of fellow addicts would be unconsciously praying also that all that is written in the holy books of recovery be proven untrue, which is something that even artificial intelligence routines would find challenging.